Sunday, March 16, 2014

Goats Need a Shaman Too!

Here are three of my recent greenware animals, with the goat being the newest.  My friend Cathy gave me a sample of a clay she likes which is called "Steve's White" from Alpha Ceramics in Sacramento.  She says it has very little grog (whatever that is!).  I used it for both the goat and the wolf.  It's a low fire clay.  (By the way, the bear is from "Speckled Brown," a stoneware from, a clay which I like very much.)

It was interesting to work with the Steve's White and compare it to the only other low-fire clay I've used which is a Laguna white clay.  I found that Steve's White was wonderful to sculpt with.  It molds smoothly with my fingers or my wood tools  I can get good detail.  And when I scratched the fur detail there were hardly any annoying little blobs accumulating at the sides of the scratches.  On the other hand, when I rolled out the slab for the cloak and then bent it, it cracked a lot - which I didn't like.

As for the piece, I made a squirrel shaman recently which is larger, so I wanted to try something small.  In the back of my mind as I create these pieces I wonder if they could be the basis of a "product line" that would be good in my Etsy shop.  In any case, they're quite fun to make.

In preparation for making the goat's cloak, I made two texture plates from polymer clay using leaves I collected from my property for the designs.  Although I thought the impressions in the polymer were pretty good, they didn't seem to transfer well to this clay, and once I bent the clay the cracking was so bad that I lost the design anyway.  So, for this one, I ended up just using wire spirals to make the impressions, punctuated by little clusters of dots from the end of a brush.

Too bad the process takes so long with the drying time.  I'm anxious to see what he'll look like glazed.

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